Blackpool rocked by Hornets
21st February 2009
Watford celebrated picking up the F&C Investments Performance of the Week award (for stuffing it up the Swans) by chalking back to back wins with a comfortable 2-0 Blackpool beating.
rendan Rodgers talked of finding 'a winning formula' in midweek and he might just be onto something after seeing the very same troops who saw off Swansea take all 3 points at Bloomfield Road - a feat no other Hornets side have managed for some 30 years (1969 -70 season for all those out there without a calculator).
Ok, so we admit, at times, it was pretty scrappy and the first half was cagey at best but second half goals from Mike Williamson (54) and the bang-in-form Tamas Priskin (86) was enough to see off a rather sad Blackpool side, who are now rightly back in the relegation dog fight with us.
In must have been a proper half time pasting by Rodgers that kicked Watford into life after a turgid first 45 that Pool probably just about edged. Yes there was a crashing volley from Priskin that flew just wide and Loach was at his acrobatic best to keep out efforts from DJ Campbell and Taylor Fletcher - but the passing game certainly won`t have pleased the boss.
Yet what a difference a sobering half time cup of tea makes. The Hornets were a different outfit after the break and Blackpool simply had no answers as the pass and move stirred from its slumber and 10 second half shots at goal were notched up in double quick time.
Even the Blackpool Gazette reckoned Watford were "well worth the victory" - and we never get that kind of praise from a local rag usually.
The positives? Well, the set piece quality we expect of Watford is back (for how long?), the professionalism shown upon taking the lead was top drawer and (surprisingly) McAnuff was a cut above most of the other players on the field with a bag for creativity stuffed into his shorts.
In fact, it was Jobi`s pin point cross that made it all too easy for Williamson (M) to break the stalemate with a low bullet header. Then, just when you thought the £1.75m flyer might just have had 'Anuff for the afternoon, he picked off a clever defense splitting through ball that let Priskin seal victory with a classy finish.
It might have even been slightly better for McAnuff had his low range drive not flown wide in the first half - maybe he needs to pop into the Tamas Priskin School of Finishing as the young Hungarian again proved he has composure in those there shooting boots with a beautiful finish one on one with Pool keeper Michael Gilkes…
…it`s 10 now for the young kid off the Eastern Block and if Tam can master the offside trap (another tidy flick chalked off today), he could be a 20 goal a season shooter that we are screaming out for.
Let`s be fair though, Watford, as usual, rode their luck. Sunderland misfit (and rumoured one time Watford target) Roy O`Donovan showed Reliable Lloyd a clean set of heels on a couple of occasions whilst second half sub Graeme Owens looks a serious good player - why didn`t he start?
But Blackpool, across the board, were pretty ordinary - proved by the fact they bought on Ormerod as a second half sub ('ordinary` must be Brett`s middle name).
VitalWatford also quite like the look of midfielder David Vaughan who gave Ross Jenkins more problems than Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and all those Spanish pirates in Swansea put together…but hey we don`t need any more midfielders!
Still, a win`s a win and at this stage of the season the 3 points at a relegation rival are priceless. We now sit 18th in the table (up 4 places) and with 2 games in hand on some of the sides below us. Yes, those points need to be earnt but with the next 4 games against Palace, free-falling Plymouth, Forest and Charlton, Brendan is most certainly right…
…safety is in our own hands now.
Credit must go to Mike Williamson. Not only has the former Wycombe man taken Championship life like a duck to water but he was central to another clean sheet (the catalyst of change?) and notched his first Hornets goal with a bullet header to break the deadlock.
(ok, we admit it - we just couldn't bring ourselves to the type the name 'McAnuff' into the MOTM box)